DALY CITY – A new action-comedy film made by a Bay Area Filipino filmmaker will make its debut this weekend in the hometown where he grew up.
Patricio Ginelsa directed "Lumpia with a Vengeance."
Before the film's national release, it was screened and paneled at Comic-Con in San Diego over the summer, receiving rave reviews.
"I think people are really hungry for these types of films," said Ginelsa.
The film, with a mostly Filipino and Asian-American cast and crew comes at a time when Asian American and Pacific Islander representation remains low.
A study by USC shows between 2007 and 2019, AAPI characters only accounted for 5.9 percent of speaking rolls, and only 3.4 percent in lead or co-lead roles.
"You can't leave it up to the gatekeepers, to Hollywood to tell your story. You could put yourself, people like me on the screen," said Ginelsa. "I feel like I have responsibility to tell these stories."
Ginelsa, who graduated from USC Film School, began making films where he was just a kid growing up in Daly City.
"I would get my dad's camcorder, and we would round up the neighbors and we would shoot summer films together," said Ginelsa. "They were called 'Kid Heroes' so we made our own super-hero films when we were growing up."
From those home movies, in 2003 he made a version called "Lumpia" – the film featured many of the neighborhood friends he grew up with. The film gained a mini-cult following.
"Even though 'Lumpia' is this wacky over the top comic book film, the guy throws lumpia as a gimmick, it grasps on the themes we try to talk about -- the bullying, the internal prejudice in the community," said Ginelsa. "These are really serious issues we wrapped in this fun entertaining movie."
It was so entertaining, nine-years ago he decided to make the full-length sequel "Lumpia With A Vengeance" starring former UFC fighter Mark Munoz, Danny Trejo, Darion Basco, Katrina Dimaranan, and April Absynth. The film was crowdfunded through Kickstarter.
"We wanted to make sure we made a movie worthy of the support they gave us," said an emotional Ginelsa. "And so, to have it play on the big screen, that is what we're giving them."
"Lumpia With A Vengeance" opens on Friday Century Daly City 20, and Regal Stonestown Galleria. They plan to show the film in other cities around the Bay Area including Vallejo, Union City and Fremont.
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